This Saturday evening sees a match that should be a fairly entertaining affair when Arsenal host Newcastle at the Emirates in a game that kicks off at 1730 GMT.
Despite all of the recent bad press surrounding Arsenal they have won their last three Premier League games on the bounce and are very much on target for finishing in the top four once again under Arsene Wenger .
However it has to be said that their general performances have been very erratic and this season at the Emirates their home record reads a fairly mediocre won four, drawn two and lost two.
Arsenal’s home record to teams of Newcastle’s Grade reads won six, drawn three and lost one. However worryingly for Arsenal they have only won one of the last four.
In recent seasons the head-to-heads record at the Emirates reads Arsenal three wins, no draws and Newcastle one win
Arsenal can be backed at around 1.48 and this is priced about right. However if you do want to improve on this price I would suggest dutching the Arsenal win by one or two goals which pays a shade over 2.00.
The draw is priced at around 4.80 and given the nature of Arsenals recent home form should not be entirely discounted.
Newcastle are priced around 7.50 and they come into this game worryingly close to the relegation zone and they are yet to register an away win this season having lost all four of their last four away games and their away record when facing teams from the capital reads a mediocre won one, drawn two and lost seven.
Newcastle can be backed on the Asian Handicap +1.25 goals at 1.92 and when looking at both sides recent respective home and away form against similar opposition the 19 game record reads home seven, four half loss/ wins and away eight wins. So this certainly suggests there is some value in siding with Newcastle on the handicap.
As far as goals are concerned then we could see a few and amazingly in the case of Newcastle we have not seen less than two goals in their last 25 away matches. This then points to over 2.75 goals and when you look at both sides respective home and away games against similar opposition four or more goals have been seen in five matches, three goals have been seen in six and two or less have been seen in eight. So there is some small advantage in backing over 2.75 goals at 1.91
In summary history suggests this will not be easy for Newcastle. Arsenal are also well rested after their Boxing Day match against West Ham was postponed and Newcastle are coming off a tough game at Old Trafford. I expect Arsenal to win this game however for me the -1.25 handicap is a little high and given the record of Newcastles away games containing goals I believe over 2.75 goals offers some reasonable value at 1.91